Top 100 Movies Of The 1990's: #43 Ransom

Box Office: $136.5 Million

Oscar Nominations: None

Oscar Wins: None

MovieRankings.Net: 77/100

Available To Stream: Not Available. You can purchase the physical DVD.

This is a much better movie than it gets credit for. A lot has to do with Mel Gibson getting semi-cancelled. It's also because Ron Howard movies for some reason being hard to stream (You can't find Cocoon either). Maybe it also got sort of lost among all the strong movies that came out in the late 90's. When it was released in 1996, independent cinema was all the rage. This is not that. Ransom is a studio movie with a big star.

There are two scenes that set this movie apart from a standard action/thriller. I'm going to say spoilers about a 27 year old movie. Figured I'd at least give the warning out.

Gibson turning the tables on the kidnappers is what makes this movie different from a standard parent in distress movie. This is such a great scene and Gibson carries the Hell out of it. The acting in this movie is exceptional. It's the best work Rene Russo has done in her entire career. You absolutely believe these people lost their kid. 

The reason Mel Gibson is so great in Lethal Weapon, Mad Max and this is because he does seem a little crazy. His eyes are wild. He's someone who seems 90% there but that 10% could do anything. He's also someone who could be a bad human being. He's said both anti-semetic and homophobic things in the past. He's also been accused of domestic violence. He's also wildly talented. The last movie he directed (Hacksaw Ridge) came after a number of these scandals and was still Oscar nominated for Best Picture and Best Director.

The other great performance in this movie is the one by Gary Sinise. Up until this point he had only been good guys in Forrest Gump, The Stand and Apollo 13. Believe it or not, people were legitimately shocked in 1996 when the reveal comes that Sinise is the mastermind of this. He plays evil perfectly and the other scene that ranks this movie so highly for me is the one at the end with Gibson and Sinise.

Brawley Nolte plays the kid who is kidnapped and he is fantastic here. The fear seems so palpable. He didn't really act much after this. His dad is Nick Nolte but maybe between that and this movie, he had enough of show business? But he is really good in this.

These twists elevate this movie so much in my eyes. I know most people reading this probably like a different Mel Gibson movie from the 1990's more than this one. If you're a Braveheart fan, I really do get it. But I also disagree. This is my list and while it's absolutely fair and valid to disagree with this list, I'm not going to lie about which movie I like more. It's my list and I'll own it even if you think I'm crazy.

I might be completely alone with this but if I have the choice of watching Ransom or Braveheart, give me Ransom every single time.

43. Ransom

44. Wayne's World

45. The Insider

46. Back To The Future Part III

47. A Bronx Tale

48. The People Vs. Larry Flynt

49. Eyes Wide Shut

50. The Sandlot

51. Happy Gilmore

52. Contact

53. The Green Mile

54. Man On The Moon


55. Boyz N The Hood

56. Grosse Pointe Blank

57. Independence Day

58. The Rainmaker

59. Go

60. The Firm

61. Magnolia

62. The Talented Mr. Ripley

63. Tommy Boy

64. The Usual Suspects

65. In The Line Of Fire

66. My Cousin Vinny

67. Awakenings

68. JFK

69. Toy Story

70. Home Alone

71. Jerry Maguire

72. Titanic

73. Billy Madison

74. Apollo 13

75. Braveheart

76. Edward Scissorhands

77. Cape Fear

78. The River Wild

79. What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

80. 12 Monkeys

81. Stir Of Echoes

82. Mission: Impossible

83. Total Recall

84. Quiz Show

85. For Love Of The Game

86. Being John Malkovich

87. Men In Black

88. Scream

89. Alive

90. Three Kings

91. Glengarry Glen Ross

92. Die Hard With A Vengeance

93. The Blair Witch Project

94. Twister

95. Dirty Work

96. Election

97. Tremors

98. Any Given Sunday

99. The Wedding Singer

100. Clerks